Saudi Arabia is allegedly planning to execute three renowned scholars and clerics over charges of terrorism at the end of Ramadan.
Rabat – The International Union of Muslim Scholars called on Saudi Arabia to rescind the death sentence of three prominent Islamic figures.
The union issued a statement on Wednesday, May 22, stating their “mounting concerns” over the imminent execution planned in Saudi Arabia.
After media reports about the beheading of three renowned, moderate intellectuals and scholars, namely Salman al-Awdah, Awad Al-Qarni, and Ali al Omari, which Saudi Arabia has not yet officially denied, the union has called the possible Saudi move a crime.
The three scholars were arrested in September 2017 on terrorism-related charges. Media outlets have reported that Saudi authorities plan to carry out the beheadings following the holy month of Ramadan.
The Union also urged Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to release all “prisoners of conscience,” urging the international community to take a stand against the crackdown on political dissent seen in the region.
The recent operation in Saudi Arabia to wipe-out dissidents and opposing voices has drawn condemnation from international human rights organizations.
In late April, Human Rights Watch decried the mass executions of 37 men, the majority of whom were Shia Muslims, a minority in Saudi Arabia. In 2019, beheadings in Saudi Arabia amounted to more than 100 executions.
Members of the condemned scholar Al Awda’s family reported to HRW that Saudi Arabia has issued travel bans on 17 of al Awda’s family members following his arrest.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, called on Saudi Arabia to release the detainees as a “refreshing step” to show that King bin Salman wants a new Saudi Arabia.
The call has also drawn sympathy from social media users who deployed hashtags calling out Saudi Arabia for represssing freedom of speech.